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TO CHEW ON: “Now Jesus Himself ... being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph … the son of Adam, the son of God.” Luke 3:23,28.
What strikes me as I read this genealogy of Jesus, tracing His line from His “supposed” earthly father Joseph to Adam, is the last phrase: “the son of God.” Talk about a double-edged conclusion!
As a descendant of Adam He was the son of God as the created human being is the descendant of its creator. But He was also the Son of God in the sense of being part of the trinity and a direct Son of God (John 3:16).
There are two genealogies of Jesus. If we compare this one to the one in Matthew (Matthew 1:1-16) we find many differences. Bible scholars have suggested several possible solutions to this (these below found in the IVP Testament Commentary, accessed through Bible Gateway):
1. Matthew traces Joseph’s line while Luke traces Mary’s.
2. There are different ways of tracing Joseph’s line. Matthew’s is the natural line, Luke’s the royal line (and some think it’s the other way around). This assumes some Levirate marriages (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
3. Mary had no natural brother so was an heiress to Heli (or Eli), who adopted Joseph as a son.
The bottom line is, the Bible doesn’t tell us or give real evidence for any of the above explanations. But the IVP Commentary does state beautifully the intent of this Luke genealogy:
“Jesus has a claim to the throne through David and is related to all humankind through Adam. He has the proper roots to be God's promised one. He has the right heritage to inherit this ministry of deliverance. His roots extend to David, Abraham and Adam. God has carefully designed his plan. There are no historical surprises in Jesus. Ultimately all humanity is a unit, and Jesus is concerned with more than deliverance of the tiny, elect nation of Israel. With him comes realization of the Old Testament hope for that nation, but bound up in him also is the fate of all people” - IVP Testament Commentary on Luke 3:23-38 (emphasis added).
Jesus’ double sonship gives verses like the ones below context and clout:
“When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son’” - Matthew 2:14,15.
“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” - Matthew 3:17.
“‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’” - John 3:16-18.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, You are the Son of God in two ways and for that, and Your death in my stead, this human daughter of God is forever grateful! Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.